Charles Strouse thought a musical version of Annie was a terrible idea at first. Lucky for him, he turned out to be wrong. The 1977 musical, for which Strouse wrote the score and won a Tony and two Grammy awards, was a huge hit, inspiring a 1982 film adaptation and now a modernized remake, set to hit theaters on Friday. Now 86, Strouse consulted with producer Jay Z and director Will Gluck for the new version of Annie, but admits it was hard watching other musicians adapt and add new songs to his “baby.” On the other hand, he’s totally crazy about stars Quvenzhané Wallis and Cameron Diaz, and says he wanted to see a black actress play Annie from the very beginning.
VF Hollywood: The film has taken a while to get to the screen since it was first announced back in 2011. What did you think about it initially, particularly with the idea to have an African American Annie?